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Long March 2D Lifts Off with LKW-3 Earth-Observing Satellite

13 Jan 2018, 17:37 UTC
Long March 2D Lifts Off with LKW-3 Earth-Observing Satellite
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China has performed third orbital launch this year by sending its Long March 2D booster carrying the LKW-3 Earth observation spacecraft. The rocket took to the skies at 7:10 GMT (2:10 a.m. EST) on Saturday, January 13, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) in China’s Gansu Province.As usual, Chinese media remain tight-lipped about the preparations for the launch, the mission’s timeline and the nature of the payload – the LKW-3 satellite.After liftoff, Long March 2D’s first stage controlled the mission for nearly three minutes. During this phase of the flight, the rocket started heading South, over mainland China and toward the South China Sea. When the core stage separated from the launch vehicle, the YF-24C cluster engine of its second stage was ignited, which continued the mission for the next seven minutes.The second stage, tasked with deploying the LKW-3 spacecraft into designated orbit, finished its job about 10 minutes after liftoff. The satellite was then successfully inserted into a low-Earth orbit (LEO).LKW-3 (Land Surveying Satellite-3, also known as Ludikancha Weixing-3 or Yaogan Weixing-33) was built by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). It is probably an electro-optical observation satellite based on the military Jianbing-6 series. The spacecraft most ...

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